Sir ALLEN AYLESWOKTH (Minister of Justice).
Mr. Speaker, so far as the motion which the hon. gentleman has made is supported by reference to the circumstances of the canal at Newmarket, I ought to be very grateful to him for having again
brought the matter to the attention of this House and indirectly to the attention of the country, at all events to the attention of the constituency of North York, at this particular juncture. I am sure the hon. gentleman, if he should happen to have the time would find it very interesting indeed if he would make a little excursion across the boundary between his own constituency and the constituency of North York and make, in that riding, some of the remarks that usually are made when this question of the canal at Newmarket is under discussion in this House. It has been a pleasure to some hon. gentlemen opposite and to the newspapers which support them through the country to connect this work at Newmarket with my name. I have enjoyed the ingenuity and the art of the cartoonists who have amused themselves and their customers by cartoons that have appeared on the subject and I have not in the least failed to appreciate the newspaper remarks that, from time to time, have been made in reference to myself with regard to this canal. But while that is the fact and while, as I have on previous occasions said in this House, I should be very glad if I had any right to take to myself any credit in connection with the construction of the public work in question, the fact remains that I have no such right, and that the hon. gentleman, if any effort was necessary in finding a convenient subject wherewith to waste public time, might quite as well have taken up any other subject which antedated some two or three general elections. This particular question certainly arose before not merely the general elections of 1908 but before the general elections of 1904. At that time I had no idea of entering public life, I had no thought of representing or being a candidate in North York. This public work was undertaken, so far as North York is concerned, in circumstances which have already been detailed, and with which I need not occupy time that is supposed to foe of some value to somebody or other, by going over again. There was absolutely nothing political about it and there was, in every sense of the word, as much agitation for the construction of this work and for the government to undertake it, by the leading men among the Conservatives of North York as there was among the Liberals of that riding, and there has from first to last in this matter been no success in the attempt which has been made at different times to give some political aspect to this undertaking. I shall not discuss at all the question of whether or not it was a judicious and advisable thing in 1904 or whenever it was that the resolution of the government to undertake this work was reached. That was long before I came into the government or into this House or had any idea of doing so and that question, I
think has 'been satisfactorily settled after ample debate by not merely the result of the general elections of 1904 hut also by the result of those of 1908. If it pleases the hon. member for Centre York (Mr. Wallace) to seek to thresh out again this venerable and ancient dust heap or to search for the traditional grain of wheat in this pile of chaff-
Topic: W. MULOCK.